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Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land
Bishop Melczek’s blog: Friday, September 12, 2014


      On Thursday, upon our arrival in Jerusalem, 17 bishops and I went to the Holy Sepulcher Basilica to begin our pilgrimage of prayer for peace, by praying at the sites of Jesus' crucifixion, His anointing, and His burial and resurrection.

      We celebrated Mass there, dedicating our pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land.

      Today we toured East Jerusalem, where the Palestinians are able to live with significant segregation and difficulty. Then Patriarch Twal, shepherd of the mother church of Jerusalem, explained the challenges of Christians before celebrating Mass with us and hosting dinner, where we were joined by other Christian and Orthodox patriarchs and bishops.

      We then met with the head of the Franciscans, the official custodians of the holy shrines.

      In the evening, we joined a local Jewish community in their synagogue for the Sabbath prayer before dinner with the U.S. Consul General.

      Prayer is powerful and peace is possible.



Bishop's Blog 1

Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2014 Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land, including Bishop Dale J. Melczek (at right), visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where they celebrated Mass in the afternoon. The pilgrimage takes place three weeks after a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (photo by Jen Hardy/Catholic Relief Services)

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